With the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship set for its season finale this weekend at Brands Hatch, a couple of teams/driver have announced their plans for 2013; the men in question being Tony Gilham and his Team HARD squad and Chris Stockton and his BTC Racing team.
Gilham first entered the series last year but returned this year with his own team running a single S2000 Honda Civic for himself during the first half of the season. He has since let American Robb Holland and Howard Fuller drive while Aaron Williamson gets his first taste this weekend.
This is a very exciting chapter in Team HARD.’s history.
The former cage fighter has now confirmed that his team have acquired both the Thorney Motorsport Insignia that is currently running, and the car that Thorney Motorsport had to abandon building mid season due to financial reasons.
This weekend Gilham will race the sole Insignia, which is running for the first time in full Team HARD colours and said, “This is a very exciting chapter in Team HARD’s history. Having driven the Insignia twice I am very confident there is a lot of potential in the car and, with the extra resources we have, we’re really looking forward to seeing what we can wring from it both at Brands Hatch and also during testing in the off-season for 2013.”
Thorney team principle John Thorne admitted it had been a tough decision to let the car go but they hope to be back come 2013 with an already secured title sponsor and said, “It will be strange seeing our first car racing in Team Hard colours and I will admit we are all a bit misty eyed about it as so much heart and soul has gone into the first car. Its been a tough season for us in terms of racing but our plan was always to develop the car and make it available to other teams, however securing top level partners for next season will allow us to actually race rather than just build race cars so I’m delighted, the BTCC is not the place to be with no budget, this year certainly taught us that.”
Chris Stockton had been due to drive the Insignia both this weekend and at Silverstone, but was forced to sit out race day following qualifying due to illness and again misses out this weekend.
However the future definitely looks bright for Stockton, as since Silverstone he has confirmed that he has secured an NGTC Chevrolet Cruze that has been built by RML.
Despite denying it at the time, RML had been in the middle of preparing an NGTC Cruze for the 2012 season before Chevrolet announced their withdrawal. Since then the shell has sat unfinished back at RML’s factory, but Stockton will now run it under his BTC Racing banner.
Stockton first entered the series for the final 2 races of 2006 in a Lexus IS200 before entering a full season in 2007 where he scored 2 points. He then swapped the Lexus for a Seat Toledo in 2008 scoring 3 points.